As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The World Stands Down China And Zimbabwe

The latest word is the the Chinese ship full of arms for Robert Mugabe and his thugs may be headed back home.

A Chinese ship carrying weapons and ammunition for Zimbabwe's military may be headed back home, reports said, after repeated attempts to deliver its cargo were frustrated by a coalition of legal activists, union workers and human rights groups.

The region's resistance to the shipment, which drew praise from the United States on Tuesday, marks a dramatic turn from southern Africa's traditional embrace of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and its reverence for national sovereignty.

It also signals the strength of South Africa's mounting backlash against President Thabo Mbeki's traditionally deferential dealings with Mugabe. The resistance from union workers, almost all of whom are members of his African National Congress, was decisive in preventing the ship from unloading its cargo of bullets and mortars on schedule.

Over countries in the region stopped the ship as well. Since practically the whole African Union had a deferential attitude toward Mugabe in the recent past, this is a significant step. But nobody is arguing for intervention in any way other than a mediating role. And with the "recount" in the Presidential election going on hopelessly compromised, with ballot boxes opened and the like, the idea that this or any future election will be fair is a pipe dream.

This is also another case of China propping up a dictatorship when they're not oppressing entire peoples themselves. The US can begin to regain their moral authority by taking this stand, and their encouragement for African governments to deny the ship was a small step in that direction.

Labels: , , , ,